WPR: New Districts In 2018 Unlikely As SCOTUS Continues To Weigh Wisconsin Gerrymandering Lawsuit

Shawn Johnson
Mar 5, 2018
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When the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Wisconsin's landmark redistricting lawsuit last October, some legal observers thought they heard signals that justices would strike down the state's legislative map as unconstitutional.

But five months later, experts say that whatever the court decides in the case known as Gill v. Whitford likely won't lead to new district lines being drawn for the 2018 elections.

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"There are plenty of precedents where states have redrawn lines in June, July or even August before a general election in November," said Ruth Greenwood, an attorney and redistricting expert for the Campaign Legal Center, which is representing Wisconsin's plaintiffs.

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But Greenwood said if plaintiffs prevail this year, there should be new maps in place for the 2018 elections.

She said the district lines drawn by Wisconsin Republicans after the last census have already been in place for elections in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Keeping them for the 2018 election would mean they would have remained in place for nearly a decade.

"Justice delayed is justice denied," Greenwood said. "All of our plaintiffs have and all of the voters of Wisconsin have had too many elections with unconstitutional plans."

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